Heavy Metals May Diminish Ovarian Reserve for Women Approaching Menopause

Women with highest tertile of urinary arsenic, mercury concentrations had lower anti-Müllerian hormone at final menstrual period
Heavy Metals May Diminish Ovarian Reserve for Women Approaching Menopause
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, Jan. 30, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For women approaching the final menstrual period (FMP), heavy metals may diminish ovarian reserve, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Ning Ding, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the associations of heavy metals with anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), a marker of ovarian reserve, among 549 women from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation with 2,252 repeated AMH measurements taken from 10 to 0 years before the FMP. High-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to measure urinary concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.

The researchers found that women in the highest versus the lowest tertile of urinary arsenic or mercury concentrations had lower AMH concentrations at the FMP after adjustment for confounders (percentage change, −32.1 and −40.7 percent for arsenic and mercury, respectively). Accelerated rates of decline in AMH over time were seen in association with higher cadmium and mercury (percent change per year, −9.0 and −7.3 percent, respectively).

"This information may enable researchers to address adverse health outcomes known to be associated with metals and with reproductive hormone changes (e.g., premature menopause, bone loss and osteoporosis, increased risks of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, vasomotor symptoms)," the authors write.

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